WINNERS in the second annual York Culture Awards have been announced at an awards ceremony held at York Minster last night.

Throwing a spotlight on the creative talent and cultural scene in York, this celebration of culture, arts and innovation in the city revealed the 12 winners, selected from the 36 finalists, chosen by a panel of independent judges from more than 70 entries.

The Best Community Project or Event was won by York River Art Market; Excellence in Cultural Education, Park Grove Primary Academy; Excellence in Cultural Equality and Diversity, Show Me That I Matter by City of York Council; Best Cultural Event or Festival, York Festival of Ideas, with York Early Music Festival highly commended; Best Cultural Partnership, York St John University and Illuminating York, and Excellence in Media Arts, VikingVR by DC Labs and York Museums Trust, with ColliderCase by Bright White highly commended.

The Best Performing Artist award went to spoken-word poet Katie Greenbrown, with musician Joshua Burnell highly commended; Best Production, The Great Gatsby, by Alexander Flanagan Wright and The Guild Of Misrule; Best Visual Artist, illustrator and printmaker Emily Sutton; Excellence in Writing, Flying High!, by Anneliese Emmans Dean, and Rising Star, illustrator and animator Herve Ishimwe Ntwali.

The accolade of Cultural Champion was awarded to concert promoter Joe Coates, who, through his company Please Please You, has brought an eclectic mix of live music to York, Leeds and beyond. In 2017 alone, he has staged more than 50 concerts in York.

Jane Lady Gibson, chairman of award organisers Make It York, said last night: "We are hugely proud of everyone who has been shortlisted and chosen as winners. Every single of one of the finalists has made such a massive contribution to York’s success as a vibrant and inspiring city. Our special congratulations go to Joe who works tirelessly to put York on the map as a great destination for musicians to perform."

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio York breakfast presenter Kay Crewdson, stage managed by Rock Tech and opened with a new film, showcasing the cultural vibrancy of the city, produced by Hewitt & Walker film maker Ben Porter.

Musical contributions included 20 young people with disabilities from Accessible Arts and Media’s IMPs project, a bespoke dance piece from York Youth Dance, songs by Converge’s Communitas Choir and a performance by the Ebor Singers.

York detective novelist Andrew Martin, official patron for the awards, said: "These awards have revealed a great wealth of innovation and creativity, which is very good news not only for York but the whole country. And where better to celebrate this cornucopia of talent than in one of the most beautiful buildings in the world? It was an amazing night, and I hope that many people looking on have been inspired to try for a prize next year."

Rose Kent, the 2016 York Culture Awards Cultural Champion, and Carole Bromley, the 2016 winner for Excellence in Writing, made a special tribute to York author Helen Cadbury, who died this year. Carole read one of Helen’s poems from her new collection, Forever, Now.

The judging panel comprised: Professor Chris Bailey, York St John University; Dr Fiona Thompson, York St John University; Colin Jackson, owner of Creative Learning Partnerships; Dr Damian Murphy, Reader in Audio and Music Technology; Marcia Mackey, director, Arts Barge Project; Roger Lee, director, York Festival Trust; Rose Kent, creative director, Accessible Arts & Media; Tom Higham, creative director, York Mediale, and Charles Hutchinson, arts editor, The Press.